Ford F250: Shaking When Accelerating → Diagnosis | Drivetrain Resource (2023)

One of the more common issues that can occur is a vehicle that shakes when accelerating. If your Ford F250 is shaking when accelerating, it’s something that should not be ignored. While the vibration can be annoying, it is often indicative of a serious problem.

Speed Matters

Vehicle speed matters when you feel a vibration. Different problems are going to show themselves when driving at different speeds. If you’ve figured out that the problem is only happening when you are accelerating your F250, that really helps narrow the problem down. The speed of the vehicle can help even more.

For instance, a vehicle that shakes when braking is going to have almost no overlapping causes with a vehicle that shakes when accelerating. For this reason, we’ve tried to include the most common speed associated with the different shaking causes listed directly below.

Ford F250 Shakes When Accelerating: Causes

There are quite a few reasons that your F250 would shake when accelerating. Here are the most common ones. They are presented in a somewhat logical progression.

1. Misfire

Vehicle Speed: A Misfire can be felt at any speed, but is most noticeable at low RPM.

A misfiring engine is one of the most common reasons your F250 will shake when accelerating. A vehicle’s ignition system consists of spark plugs, coil packs, and maybe plug wires. If it is an older model, it’ll have a distributor and coil instead of coil packs.

If any of these ignition components fail to deliver enough spark, your vehicle will experience a misfire. With a misfire, you will almost certainly get a check engine light. Check the codes. You’ll more than likely have P0300 (Random Misfire) or you’ll get P030X, where the misfiring cylinder number is represented by the X. For example, P0301 is a misfire in cylinder 1.


If you are going to diagnose a misfire from home, start with the spark plugs. Do they look like they are in good shape?

(Video) How to Fix P0108 Engine Code in 2 Minutes [1 DIY Method / Only $11.6]

On the left here you can see a fouled spark plug. This particular plug was from a 5 year old Honda with 60,000 miles. Modern vehicles can and do foul plugs, particularly when cylinder deactivation technology is involved (as was the case in this example).

If you have a cylinder specific trouble code, there is an easy way to tell if it is the spark plug or coil pack. It’s called the swap test. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Verify the cylinder specific trouble code and write it down.
  2. Clear the trouble codes from the ECM.
  3. Swap the coil pack and plug wire (if equipped) with another cylinder.
  4. If the trouble code “moves” to a new cylinder, you have found your problem components. If it stays, replace the spark plug even if it looked good.

Here’s a couple of good resources with more in depth info: Bad Spark Plug Diagnosis,Oil on Spark Plug Causes

2. Bad Motor Mount

Vehicle Speed: A bad motor mount is going to be felt when immediately accelerating. You should feel a vibration as you let off the gas, although it may not be as pronounced.

The motor mount is responsible for connecting the Ford F250’s motor to the chassis. It also needs to absorb a significant amount of vibration. There are a few different types of motor mounts, but the most common kind uses a rubber bushing to dampen the vibration.

If the motor mount goes out, the vehicle will shake quite a bit when you accelerate. It can still get worse though. A motor mount that has broken will allow the engine to roll around under the hood, and you’ll hear a clunking sound.

There’s more than one motor mount on a vehicle. If one of them goes bad, in addition to the extra vibration and shaking, it also creates extra stress for the other mounts. Here’s more on bad motor mount diagnosis.

Inner CV Joint

Vehicle Speed: If you have a damaged CV joint, it’s most likely going to be noticed at all speeds. But, it could feel worse when turning, and when accelerating hard.

The CV joint is responsible for sending power to the front wheels of both front wheel and all/four wheel drive vehicles. The inner CV joint is most likely to be the part of the CV shaft that has gone bad.

More often than not, a bad CV joint is caused by a torn boot. The protective boot goes over the CV joint and keeps oil in and debris out. It is really easy to tell if the boot is bad. Just take a look. There will likely be grease all over the undercarriage around the boot. The boot shown above has a small tear.


Vehicle Speed: When a U-joint or driveshaft goes bad, there is usually a certain speed that the shaking is most pronounced at. If you keep accelerating, it’ll often “push through” and stop vibrating.

Rear wheel drive and all wheel drive vehicles use a driveshaft to transfer power from the engine to the rear wheels. The driveshaft is a simple tube that connects the transmission to the rear axle.

It is possible for the driveshaft itself to get bent. It is much more likely that a universal joint has gone bad. The universal joint has to change the direction in which something spins.

Look at the diagram below. As it wears out, there will be play between it and the driveshaft, which causes shaking when accelerating, and consistent shaking at certain speeds. Here’s a little more on the subject if you suspect this is what is going on with your vehicle.

Stuck Brake Caliper

Vehicle Speed: If you have a brake caliper, your F250 will shake more and more as you accelerate. You’ll also feel it in the steering wheel, and it’ll likely pull to the left or right depending on which side of it the caliper is sticking on.

A stuck brake caliper can happen to any vehicle. It can happen for a number of reasons, such as the piston in the caliper getting stuck, or a crimped brake line. More than likely, you’ll need to replace the caliper. Here’s more on how to tell if your F250’s brakes are sticking.


It’s easy to tell if the caliper is bad.

  • The wheel in question will have a strong odor coming from it, like that burning carpet.
  • The steering wheel will shake.
  • The vehicle will pull to one direction.
  • The wheel in question will have more brake dust than the other wheels.
  • The brake pad will more than likely be glazed.

Loose Lug Nuts

Vehicle Speed: The shaking and vibration should be felt at any speed. It will feel worse at certain speeds and better at others. It depends on the vehicle, wheel in question, and how loose they are as to exactly what speed that would be.

Lug nuts can cause a vehicle to shake when accelerating. If there is any doubt in your mind as to whether or not they are all the way tight you need to get your F250 off the road as fast as safely possible and check.


Loose lug nuts usually show themselves after a tire change, rotation, or any other work that has been recently performed on the vehicle that would require the removal of a wheel. Get a torque wrench and torque all four to factory specs.

Tire Balance or Poor Wheel Alignment

Vehicle Speed: You’re most likely to feel the vehicle shake as you gain speed. You shouldn’t notice much of anything under 30 miles per hour.

Tire balance can cause an automobile to shake when accelerating. Tires use wheel weights in order to achieve “balance”. This corrects any vibration that would otherwise occur. These weights can fall off over the life of the tire. When they do the tire will vibrate.

A poor wheel alignment can cause the tires to wear unevenly and the vehicle to shake. It is very likely that the vehicle is out of alignment if you’ve recently run up a curb, hit a large pothole, went over a speed bump too fast, etc.


Take a look at your wheels. If you see a spot where a wheel weight used to be, that’s a good indication that you found the problem. You’ll see the other wheel weights. The outline of a missing wheel weight is obvious and not something that you can easily miss.

A poor alignment will show itself in tires that are not worn correctly. If it is only recently that the vehicle has been knocked out of alignment, you won’t see any physical evidence by looking at the tires. Your mechanic of choice can check your alignment for you.

Other Engine Problems

Vehicle Speed: Other engine issues can be felt at any speed, but is most noticeable at low RPM.

If your engine is running rough, you should check to see if the check engine light is on. There is a lot stored in the ECM that can tell you what is going on. Here are some of the problems that can cause a vehicle to shake when accelerating that can come from the engine:

  • Vacuum Leak
  • Bad MAF Sensor
  • Fuel Delivery Issue
  • Valves Need Adjustment
  • Air Fuel Mixture
  • Clogged Fuel Injector

Any of these issues can cause the engine to shake. While the list may look daunting, if there is not a trouble code related to the listed items stored in the computer, it’s unlikely that they are the problem.

Here’s more on a sputtering engine.

Wrapping Up: F250 Shakes When Accelerating

Clearly there are a number of issues that can cause your steering wheel to shake while accelerating. Hopefully this article helped you narrow them down. If you found out the cause of your F250’s shaking issue, please leave a comment below. You may be able to help the next person who finds their way here. Good luck!


Why is my Ford truck shaking when I accelerate? ›

In most cases, shaking during acceleration is caused by a problem with your tires or wheels. Your tires could be unbalanced; your wheel alignment could be off; or the problem could be caused by uneven tire wear.

Why does my F250 shake at high speeds? ›

To stop the shaking, drivers are often forced to slow down or stop their cars immediately. The Ford death wobble defect may be caused by premature wear or loosening of various components such as the ball joints, control arms, track bar bashing, damper bracket, or shocks.

What causes vibration accelerating? ›

The most prevalent cause of vibration is problems with your wheels or tires. The potential problems include improper wheel and tire balance, uneven tire wear, separated tire tread, out of round tires, damaged wheels and even loose lug nuts.

Why does my Ford Flex shudder when accelerating? ›

Any unusual shaking or vibrating forces coming from the engine is cause for concern. It could be something as simple as old spark plugs producing an uneven power delivery, it could be something serious like worn or broken engine mounts, or it could be even more serious in the case of internal engine damage.

Why does my truck shake when I press the gas? ›

Loose or damaged engine mounts may also be to blame if your car shakes when accelerating. As previously mentioned, damaged and loose engine mounts can't efficiently absorb the vibrations produced by your cranking engine, so you're likely to feel them when you step on the gas.

Why does my truck shake when I accelerate transmission? ›

If the level of transmission fluid dips too low in your car, it might start shaking as you accelerate. While this is fairly easy to resolve, it needs to be tended to promptly. If there's a leak and you continue driving with too little transmission fluid, it can permanently damage your car's transmission.

What makes an f250 a tremor? ›

The Ford Tremor® package details highlight 35-inch off-road tires, unique front springs for increased ride height, electronic-locking rear differential, and Rock Crawl and Trail Control™ modes.

Why does my truck shake between 70 and 80 mph? ›

If your car's engine isn't getting enough oxygen, fuel, or spark that is needed for it to run smoothly, you'll probably notice that a vibration is coming from the engine compartment. This issue manifests through jerks and shaking when your vehicle increases in speed, or rumbles within a specific speed range.

What is most likely to cause a shudder or vibration only when accelerating? ›

A shudder or vibration when accelerating.

This may be caused by play in the inboard or outboard joints, but the most likely cause is a worn inboard plunge joint.

Can transmission cause vibration on acceleration? ›

Your vehicle's engine and transmission send power to a differential and on to the wheels through a driveshaft. It rotates to transmit that power and torque, so a bend can cause major vibrations as you accelerate.

Can CV axle cause shaking? ›

Vibration While Driving. Because the CV Axle joints are located right next to the vehicle's wheels, any damage to them can directly affect your driving. If you suddenly feel as though your vehicle is vibrating more than normal, it can mean that you have a damaged halfshaft.

Why does my diesel car shudder when I accelerate? ›

The most common reason why your diesel car is juddering while you are driving is due to clogged fuel injectors.

What does transmission shudder feel like? ›

You usually notice your car shuddering because it feels like it's vibrating. Your car will vibrate even when you're not going very fast. The shuddering makes the car lag and is very noticeable. Some vehicles have a transmission temperature indicator that will let you know when your car's transmission is overheating.

What does transmission shudder look like? ›

What Is a Transmission Shudder? Also known as a torque converter shudder, a transmission shudder refers to when your vehicle's transmission begins to noticeably shake or tremble convulsively.

Can transmission cause car to shake? ›

Low automatic transmission fluid can cause shaking. If the shaking is accompanied by the check engine light, it's time to visit a mechanic. Drivers of manual cars might discover their clutch master cylinder is the source of the shaking.

What to do if your truck is shaking? ›

How to fix car shaking while driving
  1. Do a wheel balance. Take the tires to a mechanic or alignment shop. ...
  2. Get loose lug nuts tightened. You can have this simple fix without visiting a mechanic. ...
  3. Clean or replace spark plugs. ...
  4. Replace the broken engine mount. ...
  5. Service brake calipers. ...
  6. Replace bent axle and driveshaft.

What causes a truck engine to shake? ›

A worn out or faulty spark plug is a leading cause why your car engine vibrates or shakes uncontrollably. A worn out spark plug can prevent the fuel-air mixture to not get properly ignited in the cylinders, thus leading to misfiring.

Can transmission cause truck to shake? ›

Some simple warning signs that the transmission is having problems: Transmission is slow to respond when shifting. Grinding, shaking, vibrating.

How much is F-250 Tremor lifted? ›

With a 2-inch lift, the F-250 sits even higher than the already tall heavy-duty pickup. The pickup is ready to haul heavy loads. This big Ford is not fazed by a heavy haul.

Why does my F-250 shake when I hit a bump? ›

The death wobble is a violent shaking that happens to the front end of many Ford F250 and F350 Super Duty trucks. It typically occurs at speeds over 50 miles per hour. It can also happen after going over bumps or grooves in the road. To stop the shaking, drivers must quickly slow way down or even stop completely.

What is the Ford Tremor called? ›

But then The Blue Oval debuted the Ford Tremor package. At a private event debuting the Ford Tremor Super Duty, Ford Authority learned that FoMoCo initially planned to call the Tremor package FX4 Max. Somewhere along the line, a decision was made to switch that name to Tremor.

Why does my truck shake when I go over 75 mph? ›

If your vehicle vibrates when accelerating, some most likely causes include a faulty braking system, imbalanced tires, a bent axle, or misfiring spark plugs. If the vibrations get even worse every time you accelerate, a bent axle is the main culprit.

How is front end vibration diagnosed? ›

Vibrations caused by out-of-round tires or wheels, bent rims or excessive hub runout can be diagnosed on the vehicle with a dial indicator, or on a wheel balancer that has this capability.

Can bad spark plugs cause vibration? ›

Worn or dirty spark plugs can cause a petrol car's engine to misfire in one or more cylinders, which can cause vibrations when the car is idling or at running speeds. The easiest solution is to replace your spark plugs and check the related wiring. Engine vibrations can also be due to the air and fuel systems.

What is the most common issue with death wobble? ›

Some of the most common causes of the death wobble include poorly installed suspension parts or loose or damaged steering components. If you have modified your Jeep's suspension or other components, you may be more likely to experience the death wobble.

What causes Ford f250 death wobble? ›

Cause And Solution Of Ford Death Wobble

As per the lawsuit, the death wobble is associated with premature wear or loosening of the track bar joint, control arms, shocks, or a finicky steering dampener.

Is there a recall on the Ford f250 death wobble? ›

The death wobble claim on the Ford F-250 vehicle has not led to a recall yet, but it could in the future. That is why owners and those thinking of buying this truck should keep an eye on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website.

Why does my car vibrate when accelerating but not when coasting? ›

Internal Transmission Issues

Though somewhat rare, internal transmission issues can actually cause a substantial vibration that is most easily recognized while accelerating, but not when coasting.

Why does my car shake when I accelerate with the check engine light on? ›

Usually, when the check engine light is on and the car is shaking, that means you're dealing with an engine misfire. Basically, the check engine light comes on whenever there's an issue that could increase vehicle tailpipe emissions.

Can warped rotors cause vibration when accelerating? ›

How Can You Tell If You Have Warped Rotors? Unlike other vehicle problems, warped rotors will only cause your vehicle to shake when you are braking. If you are experiencing shaking during acceleration, you likely have a different vehicle issue, such as an alignment or balancing concern (more on these below).

Can a bad differential cause shaking? ›

When rear differentials fail, it can cause vibration, noises, and fluid leaks. Ultimately, it can impact your vehicle's handling and acceleration. If you notice any of the above symptoms, it's crucial that you consult a certified mechanic to diagnose and correct the issue.

What does a CV axle vibration feel like? ›

Vibration While Driving

However, if the vibrations are excessive, increase with speed, or give an unusually "bouncy" feel to your drive, it may be due to the CV axle. Whatever the cause of vibrations, it's important to get your vehicle inspected; if it vibrates too much, it can become harder to control.

Can a bad axle bearing cause vibration? ›

Damaged or worn wheel bearings

Designed to secure the wheel hub to the vehicle's suspension, and allow the wheels to turn properly, these safety critical components can cause steering wheel vibration if damaged or not lubricated sufficiently.

Can diesel injectors cause vibration? ›

A compromised fuel injector will cause the corresponding cylinder to not be able to fire. This in turn will cause the engine to vibrate as it tries to finish each cycle without adequate fuel.

Why does my diesel truck hesitate when accelerating? ›

A common cause is a problem with the spark plugs or ignition system. Other potential causes include a blockage in the fuel line, a faulty oxygen sensor, or a problem with the mass air flow sensor. Vacuum leakages can also cause a delay in acceleration. A clogged air filter or low engine oil level can also be a cause.

Will a bad fuel pump cause shudder? ›

1. You Might be Experiencing Fuel Pump Failure if Your Car Jerks or Sputters at High Speeds. If you're driving at freeway speeds and notice your engine sputter or jerk, you may have a failing fuel pump.

What is the symptom of torque converter shudder? ›

One of the most noticeable symptoms of torque converter shudder is vibrations or shaking while driving. These vibrations can be felt through the steering wheel, floorboard, or seat of the vehicle. The severity of the vibrations may vary depending on the extent of the shudder and the speed of the vehicle.

How much does it cost to fix a transmission shudder? ›

On average, torque converter shudder repair costs about $187.50.

What does a failing torque converter sound like? ›

Rattling is one sound you want to be aware of. If you hear odd rattling sounds when you accelerate, this might be a symptom of a bad torque converter. The same can be true of whirring noises.

Can I drive with a transmission judder? ›

During that time you should avoid driving your vehicle. This is due to the dangers that come with an unpredictable transmission. If there have been issues with the gears not engaging or slipping, this can cause the vehicle to unexpectedly start shaking when driving.

Is it normal for a Ford engine to shake? ›

Is it something you should get looked at? The short answer is, Yes! A shaking or rocking sensation from your truck's engine compartment, plus engine misfires is an indication that a problem is brewing. It may be as simple as replacing your spark plugs, but it also may be more involved than that.

How do you fix a car that shakes when accelerating? ›

The Motor's Mounts are Damaged

One reason your car could be shaking with acceleration is that the engine's mounts are broken. If even one of the motor mounts is broken, this could occur, and puts more stress on the remaining mounts. Replacing broken motor mounts is one way to stop vibration during acceleration.

Why does my F 150 stutter when I accelerate? ›

Ford F 150 jerk on acceleration can be caused by an oil pan gasket, which may need to be replaced. Ford F 150 jerk on acceleration can also be caused by a faulty throttle positioning sensor. If the vehicle jerks when accelerating, this will cause an increase in fuel consumption and may need to be replaced.

Why is my Ford engine shaking? ›

If your engine fails to be adequately fed, it can cause the engine to vibrate as you spend time in the car. The shaking can be present as you press on the gas pedal when you drive at a specific speed. A clogged air filter or bad spark plugs or wires are known to cause this issue to develop.

How do you diagnose engine vibration? ›

To help confirm that the vehicle has an engine speed related vibration, with the vehicle stopped, put it into park or neutral and raise the engine speed to the RPM at which the vibration occurred to see if the vibration can be reproduced. If reproduced, diagnosis should begin with engine speed related components.

Will a bad transmission cause engine shake? ›

Some simple warning signs that the transmission is having problems: Transmission is slow to respond when shifting. Grinding, shaking, vibrating.

Can transmission cause engine shaking? ›

Low automatic transmission fluid can cause shaking. If the shaking is accompanied by the check engine light, it's time to visit a mechanic. Drivers of manual cars might discover their clutch master cylinder is the source of the shaking.

Why does my diesel engine shake when accelerating? ›

Vibration in a diesel engine occurs due to unidirectional combustion forces caused by the changes in gas pressure inside the cylinder, structural resonance and alternating inertia forces concentrated on different engine parts.

Why is my car shaking when I accelerate at high speeds? ›

As you get into the higher speeds, if you distinctly feel vibrating coming from the engine, this could be a result of a lack of power, fuel, or oxygen getting to it. The spark plugs, fuel filter, and air filter should all be checked and replaced as needed.

Why does my car shake when accelerating at 60 mph? ›

Tire Problems

Tires are one of the most common causes of car vibrations. One of the possible issues are out-of-balance tires. Your problems may not be noticeable at slow speeds, but the shaking will intensify as you accelerate to 55-60 miles per hour. The steering wheel, or even the entire car, will start to vibrate.

Why does my truck hesitate and sputter when I accelerate? ›

A common cause is a problem with the spark plugs or ignition system. Other potential causes include a blockage in the fuel line, a faulty oxygen sensor, or a problem with the mass air flow sensor. Vacuum leakages can also cause a delay in acceleration. A clogged air filter or low engine oil level can also be a cause.

Why does my f350 hesitate when accelerating? ›

Fuel injectors may become dirty over time and not be able to provide as much fuel to the cylinder as is needed. Dirty fuel injectors may cause the engine to run lean which will in turn, cause hesitation when accelerating.

Why does my truck shake when not accelerating? ›

If your vehicle is shaking when you are idling at a complete stop, the problem is likely to be damaged or broken motor mounts or transmission mounts. Broken motor or transmission mounts can result in severe motor shaking and should be fixed before causing other serious mechanical problems.

Why do Ford trucks shake? ›

Cause And Solution Of Ford Death Wobble

As per the lawsuit, the death wobble is associated with premature wear or loosening of the track bar joint, control arms, shocks, or a finicky steering dampener.

What does engine shudder mean? ›

Sometimes a shake or shudder will emanate from the engine compartment, because the engine isn't getting the proper amount of air, fuel or spark that it needs to run smoothly. Symptoms that might indicate such an engine-related case of the shakes include the following: Shudder or jerking occurs during acceleration.


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